Apple Denies Free Speech to Republican in CA-30

Apple acts really wimpy in free speech fail.

See what you think, readers.  Congressional candidate Ari David, Republican for California-30, asked Apple to create an iPhone app for his campaign to unseat Henry Waxman in November.  (Check out his website here.)

Ari David and Tony Katz just want to have fun (at Tea Party in May 2009)

Apple came back to him with the judgment that the information he wanted to include about Waxman was “defamatory,” and therefore Apple couldn’t accept his business.

But read the story for yourselves.  (Read it if only for the idiotic farming regulations California farmers are already living with, which Waxman wants to impose on the rest of America’s farmers.)

Read it also, however, for the posture assumed by Apple.  Nothing in the proposed app’s content could reasonably be called defamatory.  Some of it is clearly opinion (e.g., the farm regulations are “Soviet-style”).  But when did charging a politician with wanting to “strangle family farms with Soviet-style regulation” become defamatory?  It’s partisan political speech, yes.  But that doesn’t make it defamatory. Continue reading “Apple Denies Free Speech to Republican in CA-30”

Slim Pickins 4 February 10

Various topics: unemployment numbers and the methodologies that produce them; election in Ukraine.

Just So You Know

An arcane but easily-understood artifact of the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes unemployment will produce a major revision of job-loss figures when they are released on Friday (5 Feb).

Check it out at Bloomberg.  Basically, the job losses for the period April 2008 to March 2009 are being revised upward by 824,000 jobs, the largest such revision ever.  (A historical revision is made each year in February to ensure an accurate long-term baseline.)

The reason for earlier underestimates of job losses for that period is that the BLS methodology assumes a rough equality between business failures (“death”) and business start-ups (“birth”).  But that rough equality didn’t obtain after April 2008.  Businesses weren’t starting up at a rough replacement rate. Continue reading “Slim Pickins 4 February 10”